Metro strike for Coldplay gig after talks break down

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STRIKES on the Metro will go ahead on Thursday after talks between train bosses and union leaders broke down.

It was hoped that the last-minute negotiations would bring a resolution to the dispute, but the RMT union rejected an improved pay offer.

Having said no to an original increase of 1.3 per cent they also rejected an offer of 2.1 per cent from Metro operator DB Regio Tyne and Wear.

Micky Thompson, RMT representative, said: “It was a very long day of talks that began at 10am and ended at 3pm.

“During that time there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing until DB offered a 2.1 per cent pay award or £520, whichever is the greatest.

“We took time to consider this, but we ultimately decided it wasn’t good enough and didn’t meet our aspirational figures. Regrettably the planned industrial action for June 7 will go ahead.”

Bernard Garner, director general of Nexus, said: “I am very disappointed that the talks between DBTW and the unions have broken down, despite a significantly improved pay offer on the table which can only be considered generous given the current economic climate in the North East. We continue to urge both sides to seek a resolution.”

Talks have been taking place to draw up contingency plans to minimise disruption to concert-goers and a fleet of 55 buses will be running after the Coldplay concert at the Stadium of Light to Heworth Interchange and Newcastle city centre.